copper beard orchid
New Zealand plants have been called C. campestris R.Br. another Australian species to which C. herbaceus is allied.
Vascular – Native
2n = 22
Current conservation status
The threat classification status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2017 | Threatened – Nationally Critical | Qualifiers: EF, SO, Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Threatened – Nationally Critical | Qualifiers: EF, SO, Sp
2009 | Threatened – Nationally Critical | Qualifiers: SO, EF, Sp
2004 | Threatened – Nationally Critical
Indigenous. New Zealand, North Island. Formerly recorded from the Aranga Swamp near Maunganui Bluff. It is now known from a few scattered populations ranging from Te Paki south to Albany. Also present in Australia
A coastal and lowland species of open ground within gum land scrub, peat bogs, ephemeral wetlands and clay pans.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
FACW: Facultative Wetland
Usually is a hydrophyte but occasionally found in uplands (non-wetlands).
Stout orchid 300-700 mm tall. Stem erect, glaucous green to green, fleshy, rather stout. Leaf fleshy, linear-lanceolate, glaucous-green to dark green, channelled, sheathing at base. Cauline bracts similar but much shorter. Inflorescence a raceme of (1-)2(-5) flowers. Floral bracts narrow, acute, overtopping ovary. Perianth green, glaucous-green to bright green except for the violet lamina and red cilia of labellum. Dorsal sepal 10-15 mm long, broad-elliptic, acute, somewhat folded about column; lateral sepals similar though smaller. Petals shorter, obliquely deltoid, apex subacute, directed toward dorsal sepal, green finely striped with red. Labellum violet, with a green apex, not much larger than sepals and petals; ligulate apex short, sinuous; disc broad with shorter, fewer processes; base bearing two, longitudinal metallic blue (rarely green) plate-like calli. Column wings with one distinct, dark gland or callus near base.
Manaaki Whenua Online Interactive Key
Immediately distinguished from C. robertsonii Benth., and C. paludosus R.Br., by the greenish-yellow flowers with red striped petals, a distinctive violet blue labellum, bearing red whisker like cilia.
October – December
October – February
Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild.
Habitat loss and plant collectors are the main threats to this attractive bearded orchid
calochilus: From Greek kalos (beautiful) and cheilos (lip), referring to the attractive labellum
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
New Zealand plants and some Australian populations differ slightly from C. herbaceus sens. str. and it is thought that they probably warrant separate taxonomic recognition (D.L. Jones pers. comm.).
Description adapted from Moore and Edgar (1970)
References and further reading
Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. II. Government Printer, Wellington.